Since the early 20th Century, technical and professional societies have developed standards within their areas of expertise addressing aspects of their industries which they feel would benefit from a degree of standardization. From the beginning, the use of these standards was strictly voluntary. It did not take jurisdictional authorities long, however, to recognize that application of these voluntary standards enhanced public safety, as well as leveling the playing field in trade. Hence, laws were passed mandating their use. Purchasers of goods and services also recognized the advantages of standardization, and began requiring the use of standards in their procurement contracts. But how do jurisdictions and purchasers know that the standard they are mandating is a broad-based industry standard, or a narrowly focused set of rules which only apply to one company or institution, thereby giving them an unfair advantage? The answer is "consensus", and a unified approach in achieving it.